Carolina Theatre Names Ben Sollee Musician-In-Residence

The Carolina Theatre of Durham has named cellist Ben Sollee as its Musician-In-Residence for 2015-2016. This new, annual program promotes collaboration with the community of performing artists and organizations in Durham and the surrounding Triangle area. Future musicians will be selected through a yearly application process, the first of which will take place in the coming months.

Ben Sollee is a singer-songwriter and composer known for his innovative playing style, genre-bending songwriting, electrifying performances and political and environmental activism.  A native Kentuckian, Sollee has composed for stage and screen both domestically and internationally. In partnership with the design group Public Works Collaborative, Ben helped create a massive eco-art and tech installation called Livestream.  The sculpture was recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and will be installed this fall in Lexington, Kentucky. Sollee's upcoming record, Steeples, will see a return to the basic ingredients of Sollee's music: cello, voice, and storytelling.

As part of his residency at the Carolina Theatre, Sollee will participate in a series of public and private events during the year highlighting his modern approach to the cello including workshops, performances and community engagement. The first such event will occur Saturday, September 12 at 10 a.m., when Sollee will give an intimate performance on the trails of the West Point on the Eno City Park.

Attendees of this special show will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the West Point Amphitheater parking lot where the group will hike to Ben’s chosen site on the trail. Guests are advised to wear shoes or boots for the hike, as the trails are on uneven terrain. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome for this unamplified performance. There are no restrooms at the concert site.

Maps will be available for more adventurous hikers who wish to explore the trails before the performance.

Sollee and Theatre officials have discussed additional collaborations to be held during his Musician-In-Residency term with such organizations as the Chapel Hill’s Community Beat Making Lab.

Working with the team at the Beat Making Lab, Sollee intends to record with young electronic musicians to incorporate orchestral strings with their original compositions. Unique loops and samples played by Sollee will prevent the need for these young musicians to purchase overused samples from online libraries and editing software programs.

Follow the Carolina Theatre and Ben Sollee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest happenings on this exciting new program launching this September in Durham.

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